Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 10905-10908 [2018-04998]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 49 / Tuesday, March 13, 2018 / Notices amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES less protection for the miners affected than that provided by the standard; or (2) the application of the standard will result in a diminution of safety to the affected miners. MSHA bases the final decision on the petitioner’s statements, any comments and information submitted by interested persons, and a field investigation of the conditions at the mine. In some instances, MSHA may approve a petition for modification on the condition that the mine operator complies with other requirements noted in the decision. II. Granted Petitions for Modification On the basis of the findings of MSHA’s investigation, and as designee of the Secretary, MSHA has granted or partially granted the following petitions for modification: • Docket Number: M–2016–031–C. FR Notice: 81 FR 81810 (11/18/2016). Petitioner: S & J Coal Mine, 15 Motter Drive, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963– 8854. Mine: Slope #2 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–09963, located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1002(a) (Installation of electric equipment and conductors; permissibility). • Docket Number: M–2017–001–C. FR Notice: 82 FR 16068 (3/31/2017). Petitioner: Mettiki Coal WV, LLC, 293 Table Rock Road, Oakland, Maryland 21550. Mine: Mountain View Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09028, located in Tucker County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.500(d) (Permissible electric equipment). • Docket Number: M–2017–002–C. FR Notice: 82 FR 16068 (3/31/2017). Petitioner: Mettiki Coal WV, LLC, 293 Table Rock Road, Oakland, Maryland 21550. Mine: Mountain View Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09028, located in Tucker County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.507– 1(a) (Electric equipment other than power-connection points; outby the last open crosscut; return air; permissibility requirements). • Docket Number: M–2017–003–C. FR Notice: 82 FR 16068 (3/31/2017). Petitioner: Mettiki Coal WV, LLC, 293 Table Rock Road, Oakland, Maryland 21550. Mine: Mountain View Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09028, located in Tucker County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1002(a) (Installation of electric equipment and conductors; permissibility). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Mar 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 • Docket Number: M–2017–008–C. FR Notice: 82 FR 26954 (6/12/2017). Petitioner: Excel Mining, LLC, 4126 State Highway 194 West, Pikeville, Kentucky 41501. Mine: Excel Mining #4 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15–19515, located in Pike County, Kentucky. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1909(b)(6) (Nonpermissible diesel powered equipment; design and performance requirements). • Docket Number: M–2017–002–M. FR Notice: 82 FR 34701 (7/26/2017). Petitioner: Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., Midwest Division, 11252 Aurora Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50322. Mine: Fort Calhoun Underground Mine, 5765 County Road P 30, Fort Calhoun, Nebraska 68023, MSHA I.D. No. 25–01300, located in Washington County, Nebraska. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 57.11052(d) (Refuge areas). Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. [FR Doc. 2018–04992 Filed 3–12–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4520–43–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice is a summary of petitions for modification submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by the parties listed below. DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by MSHA’s Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before April 12, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may submit your comments, identified by ‘‘docket number’’ on the subject line, by any of the following methods: 1. Electronic Mail: zzMSHAcomments@dol.gov. Include the docket number of the petition in the subject line of the message. 2. Facsimile: 202–693–9441. 3. Regular Mail or Hand Delivery: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, Virginia 22202–5452, Attention: Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 10905 Persons delivering documents are required to check in at the receptionist’s desk in Suite 4E401. Individuals may inspect copies of the petition and comments during normal business hours at the address listed above. MSHA will consider only comments postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service or proof of delivery from another delivery service such as UPS or Federal Express on or before the deadline for comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barbara Barron, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances at 202–693– 9447 (Voice), barron.barbara@dol.gov (Email), or 202–693–9441 (Facsimile). [These are not toll-free numbers.] SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 44 govern the application, processing, and disposition of petitions for modification. I. Background Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) allows the mine operator or representative of miners to file a petition to modify the application of any mandatory safety standard to a coal or other mine if the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) determines that: 1. An alternative method of achieving the result of such standard exists which will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners of such mine by such standard; or 2. That the application of such standard to such mine will result in a diminution of safety to the miners in such mine. In addition, the regulations at 30 CFR 44.10 and 44.11 establish the requirements and procedures for filing petitions for modification. II. Petitions for Modification Docket Number: M–2018–001–C. Petitioner: LCT Energy, LP, 938 Mt. Airy Drive, Suite 200, Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15904. Mines: Maple Springs Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–09973, Cass No. 1 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–09974, Boone Surface Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–10067, located in Somerset County, Pennsylvania; and Rustic Ridge Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–10089, located in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.500(d) (Permissible electric equipment). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of batterypowered nonpermissible surveying equipment in or inby the last open E:\FR\FM\13MRN1.SGM 13MRN1 amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES 10906 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 49 / Tuesday, March 13, 2018 / Notices crosscut, including, but not limited to portable battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, distance meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states that: (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and accurate surveying equipment is necessary. (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining by its nature, and the size and complexity of mine plans require that accurate and precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. As an alternative to the existing standard, the petitioner proposes the following: (a) Use nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment when equivalent permissible electronic surveying equipment is not available. Nonpermissible equipment will include portable battery-operated total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and data loggers. (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in or inby the last open crosscut will be examined by surveying personnel prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in safe operating condition. These examinations will include: (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the integrity of the case. (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion. (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection to the battery. (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to ensure proper connections. (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is securely fastened. (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained for one year and made available to MSHA on request. (d) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use of nonpermissible surveying equipment in or inby the last open crosscut. (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be deenergized immediately and withdrawn outby the last open crosscut. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Mar 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 30 CFR 75.320. (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or charged in fresh air outby the last open crosscut. (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be present. (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into service until MSHA has inspected the equipment and determined that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this petition. Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager. The revisions will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and conditions in the PDO. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2018–002–C. Petitioner: LCT Energy, LP, 938 Mt. Airy Drive, Suite 200, Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15904. Mines: Maple Springs Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–09973, Cass No. 1 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–09974, Boone Surface Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–10067, located in Somerset County, Pennsylvania; and Rustic Ridge Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–10089, located in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.507– 1(a) (Electric equipment other than power-connection points; outby the last open crosscut; return air; permissibility requirements). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of batterypowered nonpermissible surveying equipment in return airways, including, but not limited to portable batteryoperated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, distance meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states that: (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and accurate surveying equipment is necessary. (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a diminution PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 of safety to the miners. Underground mining by its nature, and the size and complexity of mine plans require that accurate and precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. As an alternative to the existing standard, the petitioner proposes the following: (a) Use nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment when equivalent permissible electronic surveying equipment is not available. Nonpermissible equipment will include portable battery-operated total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and data loggers. (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in return airways will be examined by surveying personnel prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in safe operating condition. These examinations will include: (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the integrity of the case. (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion. (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection to the battery. (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to ensure proper connections. (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is securely fastened. (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained for one year and made available to MSHA on request. (d) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use of nonpermissible surveying equipment in return airways. (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be deenergized immediately and withdrawn out of the return airways. (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 30 CFR 75.320. (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or charged in fresh air out of the return airway. (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of E:\FR\FM\13MRN1.SGM 13MRN1 amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 49 / Tuesday, March 13, 2018 / Notices nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be present. (i) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into service until MSHA has inspected the equipment and determined that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this petition. Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager. The revisions will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and conditions in the PDO. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2018–003–C. Petitioner: LCT Energy, LP, 938 Mt. Airy Drive, Suite 200, Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15904. Mines: Maple Springs Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–09973, Cass No. 1 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–09974, Boone Surface Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–10067, located in Somerset County, Pennsylvania; and Rustic Ridge Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–10089, located in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1002(a) (Installation of electric equipment and conductors; permissibility). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of batterypowered nonpermissible surveying equipment within 150 feet of longwall faces and pillar workings, including, but not limited to portable battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, distance meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states that: (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and accurate surveying equipment is necessary. To ensure the safety of the miners in active mines and to protect miners in future mines that may mine in close proximity to these same active mines, it is necessary to determine the exact location and the mine workings. (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining by its nature, and the size and complexity of mine plans require that accurate and precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Mar 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 As an alternative to the existing standard, the petitioner proposes the following: (a) Use nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment when equivalent permissible electronic surveying equipment is not available. Nonpermissible equipment will include portable battery-operated total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and data loggers. (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces will be examined by surveying personnel prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in safe operating condition. These examinations will include: (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the integrity of the case. (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion. (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection to the battery. (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to ensure proper connections. (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is securely fastened. (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained for one year and made available to MSHA on request. (d) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use of nonpermissible surveying equipment within 150 feet of pillar workings. (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be deenergized immediately and withdrawn more than 150 feet from pillar workings. (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 30 CFR 75.320. (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or charged in fresh air more than 150 feet from pillar workings. (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be present. PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 10907 (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into service until MSHA has inspected the equipment and determined that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this petition. Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager. The revisions will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and conditions in the PDO. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2018–004–C. Petitioner: LCT Energy, LP, 938 Mt. Airy Drive, Suite 200, Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15904. Mines: Maple Springs Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–09973, Cass No. 1 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–09974, Boone Surface Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–10067, located in Somerset County, Pennsylvania; and Rustic Ridge Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–10089, located in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 77.1914(a) (Electrical equipment). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of batterypowered nonpermissible surveying equipment in shaft and slope construction, including, but not limited to portable battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, distance meters, and laptop computers. The petitioner proposes to use up-to-date, practical, and accurate technology in the preparation of mine maps and ensure the safety of the miners by providing proper and accurate mining directional control in the mine. The petitioner states that: (1) Application of the existing standard would result in a diminution of safety to the miners. (2) Underground mining by its nature, and the size, complexity, and relative closeness to other abandoned mines, gas/oil wells, and other features, requires that accurate and precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. As an alternative to the existing standard, the petitioner proposes the following: (a) To examine all nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment prior to use in or inby the last open crosscut to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating E:\FR\FM\13MRN1.SGM 13MRN1 amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES 10908 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 49 / Tuesday, March 13, 2018 / Notices condition, and have a qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.153, examine the equipment at intervals not to exceed 7 days. The examination results will be recorded in the weekly examination electrical equipment book. These examinations will include: (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the integrity of the case. (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion and damage. (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection to the battery. (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to ensure proper connections. (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is securely fastened. (b) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use of nonpermissible surveying equipment in or inby the last open crosscut or in the return. (c) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be deenergized immediately and withdrawn out of the return. (d) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used in areas where float coal dust is in suspension. (e) Batteries contained in the surveying equipment will be changed out or charged in fresh air and not in the return. (f) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards and limitations associated with the use of nonpermissible surveying equipment. (g) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into service until MSHA has inspected the equipment and determined that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this petition. Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager. The revisions will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and conditions in the PDO. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Mar 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 measure of protection afforded by the existing standard. Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. [FR Doc. 2018–04998 Filed 3–12–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4520–43–P NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice (18–021)] Notice of Intent To Grant Partially Exclusive Patent License National Aeronautics and Space Administration ACTION: Notice of intent to grant partially exclusive patent license. AGENCY: NASA hereby gives notice of its intent to grant a partially exclusive patent license in the United States to practice the inventions described and claimed in U.S. Patent No. 7,285,306 entitled, ‘‘Process For Self-Repair Of Insulation Material,’’ KSC–12539; U.S. Patent No. 8,119,238 entitled, ‘‘SelfHealing Wire Insulation,’’ KSC–12539– 2; and U.S. Patent Application Serial Number 13/523,806 entitled, ‘‘SelfHealing Polymer Materials for Wire Insulation, Polyimides, Flat Surfaces, and Inflatable Structures,’’ KSC–13366, to Drywired, LLC, having its principal place of business in Los Angeles, CA. Drywired, LLC has requested exclusivity for the following fields of use: 1. Wraps, films, and decals that can be applied to the exterior of vehicles with at least four wheels; 2. Wraps, films, and decals that can be applied to buildings, structures, or permanent improvements built upon or attached to real property; and 3. Coverings and insulations for electrical wiring and communications wiring in the following industries: a. Mining b. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) DATES: The prospective partially exclusive patent license may be granted unless, NASA receives written objections, including evidence and argument, no later than March 28, 2018 that establish that the grant of the license would not be consistent with the requirements regarding the licensing of federally owned inventions as set forth in the Bayh-Dole Act and implementing regulations. Competing applications completed and received by NASA no later than March 28, 2018 will also be treated as objections to the grant of the contemplated partially exclusive license. Objections submitted in SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 response to this notice will not be made available to the public for inspection and, to the extent permitted by law, will not be released under the Freedom of Information Act. ADDRESSES: Objections relating to the prospective license may be submitted to Patent Counsel, Office of the Chief Counsel, Mail Code CC–A, NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899. Telephone: 321–867–2076; Facsimile: 321–867– 1817; email: KSC-Patent-Counsel@ mail.nasa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jonathan Leahy, Patent Attorney, Office of the Chief Counsel, Mail Code CC–A, NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899. Telephone: 321–867–6553; Facsimile: 321–867–1817. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice of intent to grant a partially exclusive patent license is issued in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209(e) and 37 CFR 404.7(a)(1)(i). The patent rights in these inventions have been assigned to the United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The prospective exclusive license will comply with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7. Information about other NASA inventions available for licensing can be found online at http:// technology.nasa.gov. Mark P. Dvorscak, Agency Counsel for Intellectual Property. [FR Doc. 2018–05054 Filed 3–12–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510–13–P NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice: (18–020)] NASA Advisory Council; Meeting National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION: Notice of meeting. AGENCY: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). DATES: Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 1:00–5:00 p.m.; and Thursday, March 29, 2018, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Eastern Time. SUMMARY: NASA Headquarters, Program Review Center (PRC), Room ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\13MRN1.SGM 13MRN1

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[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 49 (Tuesday, March 13, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 10905-10908]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-04998]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Mine Safety and Health Administration


Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory 
Safety Standards

AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This notice is a summary of petitions for modification 
submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by the 
parties listed below.

DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by MSHA's Office 
of Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before April 12, 2018.

ADDRESSES: You may submit your comments, identified by ``docket 
number'' on the subject line, by any of the following methods:
    1. Electronic Mail: [email protected]. Include the docket 
number of the petition in the subject line of the message.
    2. Facsimile: 202-693-9441.
    3. Regular Mail or Hand Delivery: MSHA, Office of Standards, 
Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, 
Arlington, Virginia 22202-5452, Attention: Sheila McConnell, Director, 
Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. Persons delivering 
documents are required to check in at the receptionist's desk in Suite 
4E401. Individuals may inspect copies of the petition and comments 
during normal business hours at the address listed above.
    MSHA will consider only comments postmarked by the U.S. Postal 
Service or proof of delivery from another delivery service such as UPS 
or Federal Express on or before the deadline for comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barbara Barron, Office of Standards, 
Regulations, and Variances at 202-693-9447 (Voice), 
[email protected] (Email), or 202-693-9441 (Facsimile). [These are 
not toll-free numbers.]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety 
and Health Act of 1977 and Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
Part 44 govern the application, processing, and disposition of 
petitions for modification.

I. Background

    Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 
(Mine Act) allows the mine operator or representative of miners to file 
a petition to modify the application of any mandatory safety standard 
to a coal or other mine if the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) 
determines that:
    1. An alternative method of achieving the result of such standard 
exists which will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure 
of protection afforded the miners of such mine by such standard; or
    2. That the application of such standard to such mine will result 
in a diminution of safety to the miners in such mine.
    In addition, the regulations at 30 CFR 44.10 and 44.11 establish 
the requirements and procedures for filing petitions for modification.

II. Petitions for Modification

    Docket Number: M-2018-001-C.
    Petitioner: LCT Energy, LP, 938 Mt. Airy Drive, Suite 200, 
Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15904.
    Mines: Maple Springs Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36-09973, Cass No. 1 Mine, 
MSHA I.D. No. 36-09974, Boone Surface Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36-10067, 
located in Somerset County, Pennsylvania; and Rustic Ridge Mine, MSHA 
I.D. No. 36-10089, located in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.500(d) (Permissible electric 
equipment).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the use of battery-powered nonpermissible 
surveying equipment in or inby the last open

[[Page 10906]]

crosscut, including, but not limited to portable battery-operated mine 
transits, total station surveying equipment, distance meters, and data 
loggers.
    The petitioner states that:
    (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment is necessary.
    (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining by its nature, 
and the size and complexity of mine plans require that accurate and 
precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner.
    As an alternative to the existing standard, the petitioner proposes 
the following:
    (a) Use nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment when 
equivalent permissible electronic surveying equipment is not available. 
Nonpermissible equipment will include portable battery-operated total 
station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and data 
loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in 
or inby the last open crosscut will be examined by surveying personnel 
prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in safe 
operating condition. These examinations will include:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery.
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is 
securely fastened.
    (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained 
for one year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible surveying equipment in or inby the last open 
crosscut.
    (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane 
is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area 
being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the 
nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be 
deenergized immediately and withdrawn outby the last open crosscut.
    (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or 
charged in fresh air outby the last open crosscut.
    (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of 
nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be 
present.
    (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into 
service until MSHA has inspected the equipment and determined that it 
is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this petition.
    Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) becomes 
final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 
30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager. The revisions 
will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and 
conditions in the PDO.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection 
afforded by the existing standard.

    Docket Number: M-2018-002-C.
    Petitioner: LCT Energy, LP, 938 Mt. Airy Drive, Suite 200, 
Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15904.
    Mines: Maple Springs Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36-09973, Cass No. 1 Mine, 
MSHA I.D. No. 36-09974, Boone Surface Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36-10067, 
located in Somerset County, Pennsylvania; and Rustic Ridge Mine, MSHA 
I.D. No. 36-10089, located in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.507-1(a) (Electric equipment other 
than power-connection points; outby the last open crosscut; return air; 
permissibility requirements).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the use of battery-powered nonpermissible 
surveying equipment in return airways, including, but not limited to 
portable battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying 
equipment, distance meters, and data loggers.
    The petitioner states that:
    (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment is necessary.
    (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining by its nature, 
and the size and complexity of mine plans require that accurate and 
precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner.
    As an alternative to the existing standard, the petitioner proposes 
the following:
    (a) Use nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment when 
equivalent permissible electronic surveying equipment is not available. 
Nonpermissible equipment will include portable battery-operated total 
station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and data 
loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in 
return airways will be examined by surveying personnel prior to use to 
ensure the equipment is being maintained in safe operating condition. 
These examinations will include:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery.
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is 
securely fastened.
    (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained 
for one year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible surveying equipment in return airways.
    (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane 
is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area 
being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the 
nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be 
deenergized immediately and withdrawn out of the return airways.
    (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or 
charged in fresh air out of the return airway.
    (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of

[[Page 10907]]

nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be 
present.
    (i) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into service 
until MSHA has inspected the equipment and determined that it is in 
compliance with all the terms and conditions in this petition.
    Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) becomes 
final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 
30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager. The revisions 
will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and 
conditions in the PDO.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection 
afforded by the existing standard.

    Docket Number: M-2018-003-C.
    Petitioner: LCT Energy, LP, 938 Mt. Airy Drive, Suite 200, 
Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15904.
    Mines: Maple Springs Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36-09973, Cass No. 1 Mine, 
MSHA I.D. No. 36-09974, Boone Surface Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36-10067, 
located in Somerset County, Pennsylvania; and Rustic Ridge Mine, MSHA 
I.D. No. 36-10089, located in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1002(a) (Installation of electric 
equipment and conductors; permissibility).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the use of battery-powered nonpermissible 
surveying equipment within 150 feet of longwall faces and pillar 
workings, including, but not limited to portable battery-operated mine 
transits, total station surveying equipment, distance meters, and data 
loggers.
    The petitioner states that:
    (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment is necessary. To ensure the safety of the 
miners in active mines and to protect miners in future mines that may 
mine in close proximity to these same active mines, it is necessary to 
determine the exact location and the mine workings.
    (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining by its nature, 
and the size and complexity of mine plans require that accurate and 
precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner.
    As an alternative to the existing standard, the petitioner proposes 
the following:
    (a) Use nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment when 
equivalent permissible electronic surveying equipment is not available. 
Nonpermissible equipment will include portable battery-operated total 
station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and data 
loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used 
within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces will be examined 
by surveying personnel prior to use to ensure the equipment is being 
maintained in safe operating condition. These examinations will 
include:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery.
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is 
securely fastened.
    (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained 
for one year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible surveying equipment within 150 feet of pillar 
workings.
    (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane 
is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area 
being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the 
nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be 
deenergized immediately and withdrawn more than 150 feet from pillar 
workings.
    (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or 
charged in fresh air more than 150 feet from pillar workings.
    (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of 
nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be 
present.
    (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into 
service until MSHA has inspected the equipment and determined that it 
is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this petition.
    Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) becomes 
final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 
30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager. The revisions 
will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and 
conditions in the PDO.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection 
afforded by the existing standard.

    Docket Number: M-2018-004-C.
    Petitioner: LCT Energy, LP, 938 Mt. Airy Drive, Suite 200, 
Johnstown, Pennsylvania 15904.
    Mines: Maple Springs Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36-09973, Cass No. 1 Mine, 
MSHA I.D. No. 36-09974, Boone Surface Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36-10067, 
located in Somerset County, Pennsylvania; and Rustic Ridge Mine, MSHA 
I.D. No. 36-10089, located in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 77.1914(a) (Electrical equipment).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the use of battery-powered nonpermissible 
surveying equipment in shaft and slope construction, including, but not 
limited to portable battery-operated mine transits, total station 
surveying equipment, distance meters, and laptop computers. The 
petitioner proposes to use up-to-date, practical, and accurate 
technology in the preparation of mine maps and ensure the safety of the 
miners by providing proper and accurate mining directional control in 
the mine.
    The petitioner states that:
    (1) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners.
    (2) Underground mining by its nature, and the size, complexity, and 
relative closeness to other abandoned mines, gas/oil wells, and other 
features, requires that accurate and precise measurements be completed 
in a prompt and efficient manner.
    As an alternative to the existing standard, the petitioner proposes 
the following:
    (a) To examine all nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment 
prior to use in or inby the last open crosscut to ensure the equipment 
is being maintained in a safe operating

[[Page 10908]]

condition, and have a qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.153, 
examine the equipment at intervals not to exceed 7 days. The 
examination results will be recorded in the weekly examination 
electrical equipment book. These examinations will include:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion and damage.
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery.
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is 
securely fastened.
    (b) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible surveying equipment in or inby the last open crosscut 
or in the return.
    (c) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane 
is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area 
being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the 
nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be 
deenergized immediately and withdrawn out of the return.
    (d) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used in areas 
where float coal dust is in suspension.
    (e) Batteries contained in the surveying equipment will be changed 
out or charged in fresh air and not in the return.
    (f) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards and limitations associated 
with the use of nonpermissible surveying equipment.
    (g) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into 
service until MSHA has inspected the equipment and determined that it 
is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this petition.
    Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) becomes 
final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 
30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager. The revisions 
will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and 
conditions in the PDO.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection 
afforded by the existing standard.

Sheila McConnell,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.
[FR Doc. 2018-04998 Filed 3-12-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4520-43-P